Resolutions, goal setting, planning

Resolutions, goal setting, planning. They’re all great, useful tools, but unless we follow through, unless we stick to our resolution, act on our goals, and truly do.what we put in our planner or what we plan to do, they are pretty tools collecting dust in our tool-box.

And lets face it, we tend to give up on our resolutions, reject our goals, and ignore our plans if not right away, then fairly soon after. Because they aren’t realistic, achievable, they are too much work, life gets in the way, and more.

We forget that we made those resolutions, goals and plans because they will get us something we want, they represent what we love.

They also challenge us.

And it is a lot easier to do what is, well, easy, rather than step out of our comfort zone and push ourselves and take action, so we fall back into our autopilot routines.

I don’t want that for us, not just in a new year, or after a birthday marker, but ever.

Today, tomorrow, years from now, I want us–you and me–to be actively going after what we want.

It will feel a whole lot better in the end, than living our lives on autopilot.

What follows is the first in a four-past series that will take us, one step at a time, out of autopilot, and ready to embrace the pursuit of goals and follow-through of plans.

Part 1: What Do You Want

Part 1 is about getting clarity of what we want..

You’re here, reading this, because you want to write.

Sure. Great.

We need to get more specific.

We have all done the prioritization exercise where we list fur.regular activities in categories of: those that are toward our goal. those we have to do to survive, and those we do because they’re fun but tend to be time wasters. In fact, this is an exercise I have my students do in The Daring Writer. It’s a useful exercise time management.

Michael Hyatt, goal achievement guru, teaches this exercise with a slightly different angle. I’m going to focus our discussion on what he calls the Zone of Desire. In the prioritization exercise, this is the equivalent of urgent and necessary, the zone of activity that gets us to our goal. Michael Hyatt’s Zone of Desire helps us figure out what that goal should be.

Your Zone of Desire

It isn’t enough to ask, “What do I want?” I can want to play in the NHL, but considering I’m female, of a certain age, who has never played organized hockey (and I call myself a Canadian!), it doesn’t matter how hard I work at it now, I will never play professional hockey.

To determine what our Zone of Desire is, we need to think about not only what we want, but what makes us happy.

For our purposes, lets assume that writing, in general, is what we want. What kind of writing do you want to do? Short stories? Memoir? Journalism. Ghost writing? Poetry? Epic fantasy or historical? Romance?

Is that what you are writing now? Or planning to write?

How do you know what kind of writing makes you happy? It is a story you can’t stop thinking about. There was a time, if not now, when you could not wait to write. You wanted to wake up an hour early so you could write, or stay up an hour later so you could get a few more words written. 

We also need to remember what kind of writing we are comfortable with.. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge ourselves and grow as writers. Trying new things is always good. What this means, then, is that if we enjoy writing novellas and are good at them, then that is the Zone of Desire.

If you enjoy writing flash fiction but you still have a lot to learn before you find success. by all means, practice, work at it, until writing flash fiction becomes a part of your Zone of Desire.

Another way to determine what you want, is to answer the following: what do you want to be known for? Will your greatest achievement be a decent story that you wrote because you thought that’s what you should write or because it fits into a popular trend? Or will it be a story you love, one you will be proud of? Regardless of whether it is a popular trend or something completely different.

Your turn

If we’re going to be taking time out of our day, spending our energy, actively pursuing a writing, it needs to be something we want. Something we really, really want. So take some time, determine your Writing Zone of Desire. Get as specific as you can. 

Next week, we’re going to take the next step and determine why we want to write, and make our reasoning strong enough that we will have no other choice but to take action.

Until next time…

Happy Writing!

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